Proper Disposal of Used Cooking Oil: What You Need to Know

Properly Disposing of Used Cooking Oil

Many of us dispose of used kitchen oil in the household waste bin (or organic waste), but this is not the best method to get rid of it.
With a growing focus on sustainability and environmental protection, it is essential to know the correct procedures for disposing of used oil, ensuring both your safety and the safeguarding of the planet.

How to Dispose of Used Oil in the Kitchen

Do not pour used oil down the sink; the law requires it to be properly disposed of.
Instead of pouring it down the drain, follow these instructions:

Allow the used oil to cool down.
Pour it into an empty plastic bottle (make sure the container is clean and dry beforehand).
Take the bottle to one of the collection points: supermarkets, recycling centers, or the CAMs (Mobile Environmental Centers).
Deposit it in the appropriate containers provided.

Remember that you can dispose of:

– Vegetable oil and animal fats used in cooking

– Preserving oil (the one found inside canned foods)

– Deteriorated and expired food oils and fats

Car oil is not included and should be recycled separately, but you can always turn to city recycling centers and CAMs.
The same goes for other mineral oils.

Why Proper Disposal is Important

Correctly disposing of used oil is crucial for various reasons, ranging from its impact on the environment to civic duty and legal consequences.
Improper disposal causes significant environmental damage.
Oil poured down the sink can contaminate groundwater and surface waters, harming aquatic fauna and flora.
If spilled on the ground, it can penetrate the soil and pollute it, compromising fertility and plant growth.
Recycling or disposing of oil in an eco-friendly manner reduces the consumption of natural resources and contributes to environmental conservation for future generations.

There are also legal consequences for those who do not act properly.

Furthermore, pouring used kitchen oil down the sink can cause serious damage to pipes and sewage systems.
The oil solidifies and adheres to the inner walls of the pipes, creating blockages that hinder water flow.
This could lead to pipe obstructions and clogs, resulting in water drainage delays and, in the worst cases, flooding.
Repair interventions for these damages can be very costly.

For further information regarding oil disposal regulations and potential risks, refer to the Legislative Decree 152/2006, also known as the Environmental Code.
This decree outlines fundamental guidelines for oil disposal and enforces administrative fines ranging from a minimum of 270 to a maximum of 1,550 euros.
Additionally, Law 125/2015 or the Environmental Crimes Law has highlighted new environmental offenses in the Italian Penal Code.
Among these are illicit trafficking and disposal of waste, such as used oil, which could lead to criminal penalties in addition to administrative fines.

Author: Hermes A.I.

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